Taking 5 with Courtney Monsees: Eat, Swim, Love

by SwimSwam Contributors 0

June 20th, 2019 Open Water

Courtesy: Eney Jones

Recently Courtney Monsees (University of Georgia, NCAA All American) of the Olympic Club, placed 4th in the one mile Flowers Sea Swim (2019) and 3rd in the 3k Flowers Sea Swim (4th overall), but what’s more impressive is that she taught her boyfriend Adam Zedler, to swim in January, and he too competed the Flowers one mile Sea Swim. It is said that teaching a spouse or significant other something you enjoy is a daunting, difficult and sometimes dangerous task. I caught up with her in the Caymans to find out how she did this and why.

#1 Why did you teach Adam to swim? What was your inspiration in teaching him and his inspiration in learning?

Adam came with me last year to experience a few open water swims such as The Waikiki Rough Water Swim, the Maui Channel Swim and Trans Tahoe. He enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere and felt inspired to participate himself. He made a New Year’s resolution to swim a consecutive mile in 2019. We ventured off to the pool in early January for Adam’s first swim lesson of his life.

#2 How did you teach him? What did you focus on? Is open water different for you than the pool?

We started with the basics- going to the pool together a couple times a week focusing on body position, proper technique,  and learning how the body most efficiently moves through  the water.

Once Adam knew what to do he began going to the pool by himself and would train before work. Because we had the Flowers Sea Swim in Grand Cayman in mind, and with the conditions of this race we only focused on pool swimming. I must say it felt great to sleep in knowing that he was getting up to jump into that all too familiar cold pool.

#3 How has this decision affected and enhanced your relationship?

Well, now I no longer have someone to carry my things to the finish. But all jokes aside, I think the best part has been introducing each other to our worlds. Adam now has a greater understanding of what is put into being an elite swimmer and he has introduced me to mountain biking.

#4 There are so many open water races. How did you decide upon the Flowers Sea Swim?

My roommate in college Chelsea Nauta (University of Georgia All American) and I came out for the Flowers Sea Swim last year. Because we had such a great time, this year we got an Airbnb and brought a larger group of people. We figured the mile distance, the nature of the swim, along with the warm calm waters would be perfect for a first time open water swim for Adam. Also, the Caymans s a great vacation destination.

#5 What advice would you give to others who would like to share their passions with their spouse or significant other?

Snacks! Always have snacks. We feel sharing your passion is one of the best pasts of any relationship. It’s a humbling experience, trusting that your partner is the expert and it is a great practice in communication.

About Eney Jones

Eney Jones has achieved remarkably diverse success as a leading pool, open water and Ironman triathlon swimmer.

  • Masters National Champion 100-200-400-500-1500-1650 5k freestyle 2009
  • Open Water 5k Champion Perth Australia, May 2008.
  • National Masters Champion 200-400-1500 freestyle Champion, Portland Oregon, August, 2008.
  • Overall Champion Aumakua 2.4k Maui Hawaii, September 2008
  • Waikiki Rough Water Swim 3rd place 2006, second place Overall 2009, 3rd place 2012
  • European Record Holder and Masters Swimming Champion, 2005. Records included 200, 400, 800, 1500 m freestyle
  • Over twenty time finalist in U.S. Swimming Nationals, including Olympic Trials 1980
  • Gold medal NCAA 800 yd freestyle relay 1979, silver Medalist 200 yd freestyle 1979. United States National Team 1979-1980.
  • Professional Triathlete 1983-1991. First woman out of the water in every Hawaiian Ironman participated (6).

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